A gentle yoga routine in the morning increases circulation in the body, loosens muscles, and stimulates the mind to start your day right. Use a yoga mat or towel to perform the following routine. Begin slowly and be sure to use your breath to work through any tight areas.
Begin in Child's Pose. Kneel with the feet together, and knees together or hip distance apart. Lay the torso onto or between the thighs, relax the tailbone back toward the heels, and reach the arms forward while keeping the shoulders relaxed away from the ears. Relax here for three to five breaths. Push up into Tabletop with the hands under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Warm up the back muscles and increase circulation in the spine with Cat/Cow. On each inhale arch the back, point the tailbone up, and look up at the ceiling. On each exhale round the back, and look back at the legs. Continue for three to five breaths.
Move the hands forward one palms distance, and push up into Downward Facing Dog. Push the hands down and forward, and point the tailbone up and back. Lengthen the spine and the back of the legs. Press the hamstrings toward the wall behind you. Keep the knees slightly bent if the hamstrings are tight. Hold here for three to five breaths.
Inhale forward into Plank. Place the hands under the shoulders, push through the shoulder blades, extend back through the heels, and absorb the belly up toward the spine. Exhale lower down Chaturanga. Lower the body heart first toward the mat while keeping the elbows tight to the sides. (Lower the knees to modify.) Push up into Cobra. Place the hands under the shoulders, elbows bent and tucked into sides, and press the body up off of the mat only to the hips. Or push up into Upward Facing Dog. Push the arms straight, and press the body and legs off of the mat to stretch the front of the torso. Repeat this flow until the body is sufficiently warmed up. Push back into Child's Pose to rest, or consider adding 10-20 minutes of meditation.